I want to backup my phone as if it were a new phone. Context that makes my situation different from other similar questions I found:

  • I've deleted all my old backups
  • I do not have my old backup password
  • So I cannot change my password to a new one (this requires the old password)
  • And I cannot uncheck "Encrypt iPhone backup"

That is, all my old backups are gone, and my "old password" is effectively useless -- I have no need for it anymore. I want iTunes to treat my phone as if were brand new, and allow me to setup a new Encrypt backup password, and make a fresh backup as if for the first time.

How can I get iTunes / my phone into this state?


Please note I believe this is not a duplicate of Create backup iPhone with forgotten encryption password. At the very least, the answers there do not answer my question.

From the accepted answer:

The short answer is no. The phone thinks you are a thief trying to steal the data and won't cooperate with attempts to initiate a second backup.

It makes sense that you would need a password to restore a password-protected phone. I am not trying to do that. I am trying to backup a phone that I have access to as if it were fresh. Why should passwords I used to protect previous, now-deleted backups have anything to do with this goal? How would preventing me from backing up my phone in any way prevent theft? What if I lost my laptop -- how would this phone be treated on a brand new laptop? Would I also not be able to back it up there?

From the other answer:

if you have no problem deleting your backup this "problem" is a breeze! head over to iTunes, then open up the preferences, klick on devises, then select your phone, and delete the backup! ... when backup deleted simply create a new backup from scratch :)

I have already deleted my old backups. I still cannot create a new backup from scratch with a fresh password.

  • @fsb please see my edit explaining why the answer there does not answer my question.
    – Jonah
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 4:15
  • the other answer in the duplicate question is incorrect
    – dwightk
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 13:43
  • @fsb Please note the accepted answer to the other question is now wrong -- see the answer I accepted. This is exactly the problem with trigger-happy marking as duplicate, especially when the supposed duplicate is more than 5 years old.
    – Jonah
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 16:20
  • I'm glad you found a solution. You can describe it as 'trigger happy' however based on the question, before it was edited, the solution looked the same, regardless of age. This is why questions are 'marked' as duplicates but not 'closed' as duplicates until more of the community reviews and votes. I will say that having such a hostile approach to those trying to help you will not improve your chances of getting quality help in the future.
    – fsb
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 16:46
  • I see that you have deleted your comment in which you confidently asserted that it was a duplicate even after my careful editing and explanation. And your vote does indeed count toward the close votes, and close as duplicate votes by high rep posters can often be contagious, despite being invalid. So to sum up: You have 1. incorrectly voted to close my question as a duplicate 2. insisted that this was the correct choice despite my polite explanations to the contrary 3. failed to admit any wrongdoing 4. accused me of being hostile. Rich indeed.
    – Jonah
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


As of iOS 11, resetting settings will purge the current backup password (this is relatively new) https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205220#help

Obligatory note: Be sure to do Reset All Settings, and NOT Reset All Contents and Settings, which wipes your device :)

I'm glad you already deleted the old backups, because there may be some bugs in doing this and then running an incremental backup.


Once you have selected that you want to encrypt the backup of an iPhone, it is not possible to uncheck without the password, or by erasing the content of the iPhone. The information about the encryption status is saved on the iPhone, not in iTunes, so erasing all your backups wont do much in this situation.

This may seem weird to many people, but it's basically a safety measure. Let's assume that someone broke in to your house and got away with both your computer and iPhone, got access to the computer because you had no Filevault enabled, and now wanted to move your data from your iPhone to your computer, and would be able to do so, just by erasing your old backups first. This would be somewhat of a security flaw in my opinion.

So to say it short, you need to erase your iPhone to disable the encrypted backup setting, if you do not know the password.

  • but to do so first they’d need my phone’s pass code, and if they had that they’d already have access to the phone’s data, no?
    – Jonah
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 12:44
  • Indeed. - But that doesn't change the fact that what you're asking is not possible.
    – Jacob F.
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 13:47
  • True, but it makes it infuriatingly illogical :)
    – Jonah
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 14:01
  • It really doesn't. Since the information is stored on your iPhone and not on your computer. Your iPhone doesn't have a Finder-like system where you can locate files or settings like that, meaning that you have to erase your entire phone.
    – Jacob F.
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 14:05
  • Why couldn't my iphone have an option under settings to turn off the encryption password that was protected by my phone's passcode? I have access to my phone -- the data is already in my possession. I should be able to back it up. I cannot. That seems illogical to me -- please lmk if I'm missing something.
    – Jonah
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 14:13

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